Edmonton has 4 riveting experiences for you to explore the streets.
Will you connect to the land on an immersive musical journey? Or explore identity in a spoken word stroll through Old Strathcona? Or perhaps peek in on the imagined lives of residents via an audio theater experience through one of Edmonton’s most vibrant neighborhoods?
Only one thing is for certain, it’s your adventure.
Find out more about the experiences by clicking on the images below:
These experiences were created for and presented by Common Ground Arts Society as a part of Found Festival 2020: Reimagined, July 2 – 5, 2020, online and from a safe distance, with support from Story City.
Found Festival invites you to find art in unexpected places. Normally, you’d be invited to slather on the sunscreen, spritz yourself in a fine layer of bug spray, stuff your poncho in your backpack, and fill your pockets full of adventure at Edmonton’s only found space multidisciplinary art festival. But, the pandemic had other plans. And that’s cool. The health and safety of our community is our top priority.
So while this year there will be no Found Grounds, no beer garden, no immediate way for us to gather as pals and artists and community, you better believe we’re reinventing how artistic exchange happens when we can’t gather together. We’re proud to deliver 14 bold, digital and distanced projects brought to you by more than 40 multidisciplinary artists. Let’s get wired and weird: @commongroundarts | #FoundFest
Found Festival is funded by the Edmonton Arts Council and the City of Edmonton, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Canadian Heritage and the Government of Canada.
PSST! Hey Foundsters – COVID-19 is real and we want you to stay safe and healthy. All of our programming is designed to be experienced solo or with your designated cohort/house group/pod. Please don’t gather in large groups. Please mask up. Please wash your hands. Please keep a safe distance from others. And please review Alberta Health Services’ recommendations here and here.
Created & Performed by: Mackenzie Brown.
Hailing from the Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation, performer and drummer Mackenzie Brown leads you on a personal immersive musical journey through the ᐄᓃᐤ (ÎNÎW) River Lot 11∞ Indigenous Art Park.
Join Mackenzie on a journey, a journey to see the park in a way you’ve never seen it before. To connect with yourself. To connect with the land. A land that has been the home for many indigenous people from time immemorial. You’re invited to breathe in with the drum beat, and breathe out. To experience the music and stories of the Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation, as you look, really look, at the land around you…
This journey starts at the Treaty markers located on the East side of the art park by the parking lot.
Written by: Paula Humby & Ben Stevens, Performed by: Ben Stevens, Paula Humby, Robert Benz, Christina Nguyen, Sheldon Elter and Kristi Hansen.
Whether it’s a grand manor or a microloft; a tear down or an infill; an eccentric bungalow or a forgettable walk-up; every home has a story to tell…
The Home Suite is an answer to the question, “who would I be if I lived in this house?” You’re invited to take a stroll through Old Strathcona, pausing to notice the little details that make a house into a home, and listen-in on the lives of their possible inhabitants. The Home Suite is an ode to the homes that shape us, even as we shape them; 10 short audio pieces to be played in succession, like a musical suite.
This experience starts outside Crawford Annex, 10319 83 Ave. Find a spot on the sidewalk next to the Old Strathcona Youth Society, facing the multi-coloured mural and the unit windows at the back of the building.
Created by: Dwennimmen.
Take a journey with Albertan poetry community veteran, Dwennimmen, as she uses searing intellect and dynamic precision-of-language to create an experience which ushers her listeners toward greater understanding and poignant reflection.
Edmonton (Treaty 6) born poet and spoken word artist Shima Robinson embodies, with every poem, the ancient meaning of her chosen pen name. Dwennimmen is the name of an ancient African Adinkra symbol, which means strength, humility, learning and wisdom. For Dwennimmen, poetry has long been a compass, a salve, an anchor and guiding light. She uses the potential and force of poetry to uncover the full range of her cerebral, linguistic and spiritual fortitude. This is why her every poem and performance testifies to an emerging power and wisdom, an authentic, deeply human potency which she hopes to pass on to listeners and poetry-lovers around the world.
Sounding is a revisitation of Dwennimmen’s least performed work with visual interpretations of the meaning and affect of the poems. Follow Dwennimmen on an idyllic journey through the Audio experience of her debut book, Horn.
This experience starts at the end of Steel Park, Gateway Blvd NW.
Created & Performed by: Omar Ramadan, Saint, Sarah Campos-Silvius, Some Sum, and Timiro. Curated by: Dwennimmen.
Stroll through the streets as you encounter nostalgic memories of home, discoveries of authentic self, truths of oppression, and calls to empowerment in this poetic celebration of identities.
The 2020 Found Fest Showcase is a collection of wordsmiths who connect with amiskwaciy-wâskahikan (Edmonton). Take a verbose journey through the experiences and ideas of these home-grown poets as they represent and signify their widespread roots with poems that offer windows through their souls.
This experience starts at the bench on the north side of 83rd Ave between 106 and 105 St NW in Edmonton’s Old Strathcona district.
We find ourselves in Amiskwaciwâskahikan (ᐊᒥᐢᑲᐧᒋᐋᐧᐢᑲᐦᐃᑲᐣ) on Treaty 6 territory, traditional lands of the Cree, Nakota, Blackfoot, Dene, Saulteaux, Metis, and other indigenous peoples who have made this place home long before we settled here. For thousands of years, people have gathered here to share in story, community, and creative exchange.
We find ourselves thankful: thankful to play a small part in that long-standing tradition, a tradition carried on the shoulders of so many creators, builders, dreamers, agitators, and makers who came before us, and who will come long after us.
Found Festival Creators
Mackenzie Brown (CONNECTION)
Mackenzie Brown (she/her) is a First Nations Cree woman from the Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation, currently residing in Amiskwaciwaskahikan, Edmonton. She is a performer, drummer, tourism entrepreneur, philanthropist and advocate for at-risk youth in the Edmonton area. Mackenzie and her mom perform as “Warrior Women”. They drum and teach around Alberta for the Northern Alberta Teachers Conference, the annual Jasper Dark Skies Festival, Youth Dream Catchers Conference, Canada Day, Aboriginal Day festivities and more. Along with drumming, Mackenzie is also an avid acrylic artist and traditional First Nations crafts artisan. Her art has been featured in the Pump House Gallery, the Edson Gallery Museum, the Gray Gallery Grant MacEwan, recognized for the Alberta Indian Arts and Crafts Award of 2017, featured for the Alberta Business Competition 2017 and sold to people travelling world wide at Jasper Park Lodge. She is the recent recipient of the 2019 Esquao Award for Children’s Future, 2019 Indigenous Woman of the year from the Alberta Assembly of First Nations and Top 30 under 30 From Alberta Corporation for Global Cooperation 2020.
Paula Humby (THE HOME SUITE)
Paula Laroche Humby (she/her) is an Edmonton-based multidisciplinary theatre artist. Recently, she appeared in Almost, Maine (The Vanguard Theatre Collective), Skirts on Fire (Teatro la Quindicina) and wrote Élise contre l’exctinction totale, a TYA play that went on tour to schools across Western Canada. Paula has been creating site specific works with her husband Ben Stevens since 2016, when they co-wrote Emily Etterson’s Economical, Eco-Friendly Water Service (For Charity)! for SKAMpede in Victoria, British Columbia. Paula was mid-rehearsals for her directorial debut, Martine à la Plage, at L’Unithéâtre when the pandemic broke out. She has been itching to get back to work ever since, and is super thankful that Found Fest was able to adapt in order to keep making art in unexpected places!
Ben Stevens (THE HOME SUITE)
Working as a performer and a playwright, Ben is an active creator of new theatre in Edmonton. His written work includes But Hark, A Voice! (Thou Art Here Theatre), Emily Etterson’s Economical Eco-friendly Water Service (For Chairty!) (SKAMpede), The Van (Found Festival), Brake, Home Video (Heartmeat), Herbert, and If I Had a Horse (Ben, Dave, Steve). With Thou Art Here Theatre, Ben has created various site-specific collections, adaptations, and full-length productions of Shakespeare’s work. Recent acting credits include A Christmas Carol (Citadel Theatre), Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Winter’s Tale (Freewill Shakespeare Festival), and Gordon (Theatre Network).
Christina Nguyen (THE HOME SUITE)
Christina (she/her) is so excited to make her debut at Found Fest, and share some beautiful stories from a distance! She would like to say thank you a million times to Common Ground Arts Society, Ben Stevens, and Paula Humby for dreaming big and making this piece happen. Christina is an emerging theatre artist hailing from Edmonton. She is inspired and invigorated by multi-disciplinary theatre, music and art. She is a recent grad of the University of Alberta’s BFA Acting Program. Christina’s recent credits include: Positive (In Arms Theatre/Nextfest), Shakespeare’s Dog, Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. (Studio Theatre), For One Night Only (Razor Babes Productions), The Winter’s Tale/Two Gentlemen of Verona (Freewill Players), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Hot L Baltimore (University of Alberta), But Hark, A Voice (Thou Art Here Theatre), The Shape of A Girl (Haven Theatre Society) and Concord Floral (Citadel Theatre/Young Company).
Robert Benz (THE HOME SUITE)
Robert (he/him) contributed an audio story to Secret City (Blarney/Phenomania) for last year’s Found Festival. He usually works on stage, most recently in The Blue Hour at SkirtsAfire and The Society for the Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius at Theatre Network.
Omar Ramadan (POETRY SHOWCASE)
Omar (he/him) is a Lebanese Canadian poet, writer, and incoming University of Calgary PhD student based in Edmonton Alberta. Omar’s work is centred on nostalgic memories of home, oppression, and the navigation of living in a colonized space as the son of immigrant parents. He is inspired by the work of local poets and has competed in several spoken word competitions. Omar has an English Master’s from York University, and his work has recently been published in the first issue of Lida Literary Magazine.
Saint (POETRY SHOWCASE)
Saint (they/them) is a Black, nonbinary, queer Muslim with a fire in their belly. They’ve fostered a growing passion for their community through reading works by bell hooks, Angela Davis, Audre Lorde, Michelle Alexander and countless others, thanks to years at working at a well known book store. Currently working on a psychology and art history degree and through their art, Saint hopes to reach their community to affect positive change.
Sara CS (POETRY SHOWCASE)
Sara CS is Sara Campos-Silvius (she/her) a queer and mixed race Latinx artist in Edmonton, Alberta, in Treaty 6 territory. She is a playwright, screenwriter, and poet, as well as an actor, singer-songwriter, emerging filmmaker, and graduate of MacEwan University’s Arts & Cultural Management Program. Her performances include appearances at the Chinook Series, Dirt Buffet Cabaret, Nextfest, the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival, and many more. She has also danced with the integrated dance group CRIPSiE since 2013.
Some Sum (POETRY SHOWCASE)
Ryan James Summers aka Some-Sum is an Edmonton born spoken-word poet and freestyle artist. He started writing at the age of sixteen and began to freestyle whilst living on the streets of Edmonton at age seventeen. Throughout his journey he became submersed in hip-hop culture which became the foundational component of his ability to freestyle. He realized that his passion for spoken-word as an art form could be used to express himself. This realization stemmed from an influential peer’s perception of his writing style, delivery on the mic and engagement with listeners.
Inspired by various artists including Saul Williams, Robert Nesta Marley and Michael David Larsen “Eyedea”, he found himself with a calling to combine both spoken-word and hip hop into its own unique and collective art form. His abilities as a wordsmith and eclectic taste in musical culture led him to experiment by combining this art form with diverse instrumentals. Some-Sum has the desire to leave an imprint of his art and authentic self on the world and in doing so empower others to discover their purpose and truest self.
Timiro Mohamed (POETRY SHOWCASE)
Timiro Mohamed (she/her) is a spoken word poet, poetry editor for the literary magazine: The Drinking Gourd and Edmonton’s youth poet laureate. Her practice is rooted in responsible storytelling, centers Black Femmes, and celebrates her many identities.
Edmonton (Treaty 6) born poet and spoken word artist Shima Robinson (she/her) embodies, with every poem, the ancient meaning of her chosen pen name. Dwennimmen is the name of an ancient African Adinkra symbol, which means strength, humility, learning and wisdom. It is no surprise, then, that this veteran of the Alberta poetry community uses a searing intellect and dynamic precision-of-language to create poetry which ushers her readers and listeners toward greater understanding and poignant reflection. For Dwennimmen, poetry has long been a compass, a salve, an anchor and guiding light. She uses the potential and force of poetry to uncover the full range of her cerebral, linguistic and spiritual fortitude. This is why her every poem and performance testifies to an emerging power and wisdom, an authentic, deeply human potency which she hopes to pass on to listeners and poetry-lovers around the world.
Tasana Clarke (SOUNDING)
Tasana Clarke (they/them) is an Edmonton based prairie boy and co-founder of Pepper’d, a Black arts facilitation organization. Born and barely raised in small-town Alberta, Edmonton has become their home.
Tasana’s goal of establishing Edmonton as a hub for creation and community for Black creatives is multi-faceted and ever-evolving. Dedicated to nurturing the Black arts community, their work is fuelled by astrology, Afrofuturism, and Emergent Strategy practices.
Daliso Mwanza (SOUNDING)
Daliso Mwanza (he/him) is a local ethnographer and arts organizer. As a co-founder of Pepper’d, Daliso has been involved in the creation of events and projects with a multitude of Black creatives in Edmonton. Looking back to his Zambian heritage, he works towards honoring his ancestors and helping other artists make those same connections.
Currently pursuing his Masters in Visual Ethnography, Daliso’s work and research are fed by his desire to create more opportunities for leisure for Canada’s Black community.
Pepper’d is a Black arts organization focussed on developing opportunities and resources in Edmonton for Black creatives. Co-founded by Tasana Clarke and Daliso Mwanza, Pepper’d has established itself as an adaptable community collective that strives to provide a wide array of supports. By working with other Edmonton organizations, Pepper’d has led many successful events that have provided platforms for artists from many artistic disciplines. As the organization evolves, they hope to establish permanent roots to continue supporting and drawing attention to the future of Black arts in Edmonton.